Soft Shell Eggs in the middle of the night. Now getting worse

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Michael Propst, May 6, 2018.

  1. Michael Propst

    Michael Propst Songster

    201
    269
    137
    Sep 12, 2017
    De Soto, KS 66018
    I originally posted this in the Chicken Behavior and Egglaying thread but the conditions have worsened and I believe my girl is really sick.

    Here is a history. I have a 14 month old White Rock (Dottie) that in the past 4 weeks has started laying soft shell eggs in the middle of the night. This started just as spring start to set on. She did occasionally lay a normal egg during the day but more typically I have found a broken soft shelled egg under were she roosts at night. she has always been a good layer even laid well during the very harsh winter we just had and now that spring is setting on it is as if her system is off cycle. I am still much of a newby when it comes to chickens and learning more very day. I am not experiencing problems with any of the other 5 hens I have. They are on a healthy layer diet and I always have oyster shell available in a separate bowl. They also get a good amount of time to free range my backyard. Other than laying soft shelled eggs in the middle of the night from her roost she appears to be completely normal and healthy. That was my original post summary

    Today's Update
    This has been a month now with soft shell or no shell eggs getting dropped out in the middle of the night. The vet I go to for my dogs does have a Avian vet on hand and I did speak with her last we at the time she suggested a few supplements (vitamin D3 and extra calcium) which has provided no help. As a disclosure although she is a Avian licensed vet she is more specialized in exotic birds, not allot of backyard chickens around here. I know she has a network she reaches out to if needed. So this is why I am asking this community of experts your opinion and thoughts so when I call her again I have some things to mention to her from a group that has been raising chickens for a very long time.

    Ok here is the update. 3 nights ago she continued to lay in the middle of the night from here roost but there has just been the white of the egg, no yoke, no shell, just the egg white on the ground under her. Besides the egg issue she has seemed fine and normal running around with the others, eating and drinking until yesterday. She was fine in the morning when I opened the run to let them out into the backyard for the day, then late afternoon I notice her a bit lethargic laying under a tree. I went out to check on her and she did get up and start to move around digging at the ground, then 15 minutes later I found her laying down behind a storage box. She appeared weak. Not knowing what I am completely dealing with I immediately set up a dog kennel in the garage and isolated her from the others. She has been eating and drinking in there and getting up on the roost I put in the kennel for her but still seems to have no real energy. I am pretty certain this is now a reproductive issue with her. This is where I need input from this community to know when I call in the morning what to ask the vet to check, is there a direction I can guide her to look, is there a blood test or any test that can steer us to the problem.

    I have been doing some reading and looking up dropping references from What's the Scoop on Chicken Poop. I am fearing she either has ovarian cancer or egg yolk peritonitis. Her poop is very watery and green with white stuff in it. Pictures attached.

    20180506_114026.jpg 20180506_135914.jpg 20180506_143500.jpg 20180506_143641.jpg 20180506_143646.jpg 20180506_143650.jpg
     
  2. PollyGirl21

    PollyGirl21 Crowing

    458
    7,039
    382
    Apr 15, 2018
    Massachusetts
    I would suggest more calcium. I know you put many calcium rich things in there, but she may not like them and is not eating them. Another way to serve up calcium is to crush up (healthy) egg shells so she can peck that up. I think your hen has something more than just a lack of calcium, but I don't know what to say about that. I just wanted to share what came to mind when I read your post. I hope my bit of info helps! :)
     
  3. Michael Propst

    Michael Propst Songster

    201
    269
    137
    Sep 12, 2017
    De Soto, KS 66018
    I personally believe it is beyond a lack of calcium seeing her poop in comparison with the charts from the chicken chick. I do provide a healthy organic layer feed and oyster shell free choice for all. I often see her at the oyster shell bowl eating. As I mentioned in my post at this point I now feel it is beyond a egg laying issue and a very serious health condition.
    Over the past couple hours I have been doing allot of reading on ovarian cancer or egg yolk peritonitis and she fits the symptoms of those and her poop is in line with the ovarian cancer. The image i am including is what I am comparing against from the Chicken Chicks reference guide.
    cancer-poop.JPG
     
  4. PollyGirl21

    PollyGirl21 Crowing

    458
    7,039
    382
    Apr 15, 2018
    Massachusetts
    I think it is a health condition as well.:( I just thought I would share the little trick I use on my hens if they are laying soft-shelled eggs, just in case that was the problem.:) But as you said, I'm sure it's something more serious. I haven't had experience with that kind of problem in my birds, so I hope someone with more expertise on the subject than me can respond with better information. I will be watching this thread to see how she turns out though, so keep me posted! I hope she pulls through!:hugs
     
  5. Michael Propst

    Michael Propst Songster

    201
    269
    137
    Sep 12, 2017
    De Soto, KS 66018
    Thanks. I will keep you posted. Plan on calling the vet tomorrow at when they open. I am hoping for some more feedback by then
     
  6. Kathy Golla

    Kathy Golla Songster

    461
    651
    191
    Jan 2, 2017
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Hey Michael, how’s it going. I had this same thing going on with a hen and took her to the vet and it was an oviduct infection, very common in production layers. The vet says if one waits too long the infection can get pretty bad. My chicken vet has been a real godsend for me as a newish chicken owner.​
    One thing that would be telltale if you get her into a vet is the hen will have a temperature (internal infection). My hen had a temperature, was laying soft shelled eggs, not feeling well. Two weeks of antibiotics and anti inflammatories prescribed. We are 1.5 weeks into the medicine and the hen is 100% feeling better but we are still dealing with some inconsistent laying and soft shelled eggs, so expect that if a temp is what the vet finds.
    I Am providing extra calcium therapy cause my hen is a production red hen (needs a higher calcium level).
    Remember if she gets on antibiotics, provide probiotics for two weeks after the last antibiotics dose. Antibiotics kill good gut flora.
    Did you change your feed at all at the same time this happened? I changed my feed and my other 5 hens are doing good but this prod red was not doing well so I switched back to the old feed she was previously doing fine on.
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2018
    PollyGirl21 and Michael Propst like this.
  7. Kathy Golla

    Kathy Golla Songster

    461
    651
    191
    Jan 2, 2017
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Michael your hospital set up looks exactly like mine! Coop cups, shavings, roost and all. My birds love those coop cups! They will drink out of them too. At night I put a blanket over all sides of the crate but the front. Too bad you live in KS. I’m in CA. We would make good neighbors!
     
    Michael Propst likes this.
  8. Michael Propst

    Michael Propst Songster

    201
    269
    137
    Sep 12, 2017
    De Soto, KS 66018

    I have not changed feed but could you please let me know what antibiotic and inflammatory your vet prescribed? This was very helpful. Thanks
     
  9. Michael Propst

    Michael Propst Songster

    201
    269
    137
    Sep 12, 2017
    De Soto, KS 66018
    I just stumbled across those coop cups a couple weeks ago. Actually picked them up for my new girls who turn 5 weeks this Wednesday. But they have really come in handy for this emergency.
     
  10. Jayecookie

    Jayecookie Songster

    163
    137
    126
    Oct 15, 2017
    Cooper City, Florida
    if she's popping out eggs with no shell, that can cause bad infection in her vent. She probably has god I forgot the name of the condition, but it is serious.
     
    Michael Propst likes this.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: